When Nothing Makes Sense, Eat Chocolate and Keep Going

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I remember the first time I heard of Murphy’s Law. I was working in San Diego at linens n’ things in the Carmel Mountain shopping center. Things just kept going wrong for this lady who came through my line and she said, “you know that’s just like Murphy’s Law for me anything that can go wrong will.” At the time I didn’t really think anything of it. As time went on, however, I began to see that it times in life I can be quite true. One thing goes wrong and it starts a domino effect of continuous drama and trauma. More recently I have tried to remain as positive as possible. The thing is, this week everything finally just took it’s toll. Situations with my trouble love one brought up all the motions and dramatic memories of witnessing her being abused. The guilt that festered deep inside me for not stepping in… only to find when I spoke to my counselor recently about it she assured me it really that was nothing I could do without having harm inflicted on me, and that I really needed to forgive myself. With more recent events that have happened with her, finding out that she’s turned to harsher drugs and is now homeless… my heart aches! Knowing that everything in me wants to help her, however when I’ve done that in the past it’s caused me to fall into a dangerously codependent relationship with her that’s completely unhealthy. That being said I’ve had to make very clear lines to only be willing to be there and help her should she truly be willing to get up and change. Now, I find that the way to show that I love her to continue to go to school so that I can eventually help people like her who really want to get their lives right and to pour as much love as I can into her little one that my mom has adopted. The process has been trying, to say the least. I found myself trying everything I can to self heal and get rid of this pain. From seeing a chiropractor, physical therapist, and even doing the exercises in the book that was recommended to me called “Pain Free” only to find myself in utter pain.  With the treatment that I need so close but just out of reach, I felt nearly hopeless at times. Knowing that there is a remedy, however my insurance doesn’t cover it has just been a portion of the battle. Here it is just the beginning of the semester, I’m not even halfway through I’m so close to just giving up. Praying every step of the way. I know God is working but it’s so hard to see through the storm.  Right here right now I’m choosing  to praise! On an up side… I’be been gaining weight, and still maintaining good grades in school. I was recently promoted at work, was given an opportunity to share my story on my dear friend’s blog, and have opened my new business called Messenger Gear in which I sell clothes and jewelry to help raise funds and awareness to stop human trafficking. All being said and done, amidst my suffering I’m still seeing God work in mighty ways. I may be in pain now, but this can’t last forever. I’ll leave you today with a link to miss Emily Swanson’s blog and podcast series, some reviews of my recent food adventures, and a peek at the clothing line!

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One of my favorite new food addictions has been dark chocolate! Theo makes thee best sea salt almond dark chocolate bars PLUS Trader Joe’s has hit my sweet tooth just right with their cacao nibs!!!

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Aloha bars? … yesss please!

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Froyo with almond slivers and smothered in Hershey sugar free chocolate… yeaaaas!!!!

Now, onto the link to miss Emily’s blog post! Be sure to check it out and subscribe to her new podcast series!

http://beautyinchristthebook.com/darkness-light-healing-podcast-2/

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Finally… Messenger Gear! You can catch this new line on instagram as @messenger_gear the first round of shirts and jewelry will be giving a portion of the proceeds to help an organization called “The Glass Slipper” in which rescues women from sex trafficking! Be sure to also like my page on facebook!

 

Thank y’all for dropping in and sharing my journey with me… until next time… keep pressing on!

Dare To Dream With Maple Carrot Cake!

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I was reading this quote this morning in a devotional, and it really struck me how God has planted these tiny seeds of faith and passion in my heart for the ministry that I’ve mentioned before which is human trafficking. Through that passion He’s ignited a fire to help keep me pressing on!

Think about it. Is there anything that you’re so passionate about or you want to give a shot but you’re so afraid to step out and do it?

I found myself, in the past, pulling back because of the war that I face continuously on my life in order to proceed. The constant battle in my health which resulted in another issue this week, the days that I spent in bed in pain, the times of my family barely could make ends meet, the pressure at school, the pressures at work and the horrible things that I’ve experienced there (right down to a man coming through my line and touching himself inappropriately as I was cashiering), as I’ve said many times before there have been times that I felt like I was going to completely throw in the towel, however, it’s when I took that leap of faith and given my dreams all that I’ve got, praying my way all the way through it, that I’ve seen more passion and energy coming through me to accomplish things that I’ve never been able to accomplish before… all by the power of God!

So, today aside from the aspect of recovering from what has been a lifetime of off and on nutritional abuse (both under and over nourishment) aside from the stories of my current trials and struggles (because I mean you think about it who out there isn’t struggling?), aside from this journey that I called life that I’ve invited you along for the ride hoping that somehow my story will help you find peace in the hands of God and courage to press on… today I want to encourage you (despite the giants that face you) find your passion because as a famous quote says:

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Yes, that was probably the world’s longest run-on sentence! Thank the Lord for blogs that allow one to break free from being too picky about grammar and sentence structure!

Anywho, I’m not going to run around saying I’ve done anything great because I haven’t. All I’ve done is take a step faith trusting that God will lead my way. I can tell you I’ve been afraid most of the way through, in pain most of the way through, and struggling most of the way through. Yet, you see… it’s through those struggles, pain and trials that I’m continuing to learn and see that in my weakness, God is made strong!

That being said, I now leave you with a recipe for a carrot cake mug cake that I came up with for my mom’s birthday!

Maple Carrot Cake Mug Cake

Ingredients

– 2 1/2 tablespoons oat flour

– 2 tablespoons grated carrots

– 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice

– 1/3  teaspoon baking soda

– 2 tablespoons vanilla almond milk

– 2 1/2 tablespoons  Justin’s maple almond butter

-1 egg

– 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Directions

mix ingredients. Place in mug and place mug in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes on high heat. Take it out of the microwave, drizzle it with a little make both syrup and serve.  I added a packet of wholesome foods Stevia to the mix for extra sweetness! Mom loved it , Little Dude loved it and I loved it!

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I hope y’all have a blessed weekend! If you get an opportunity to try out mug cake, please let me know what you think.  Just so you know I can’t take all the credit for this recipe because I went online and searched over several different recipes. One from land o Lakes as well as Yummily  and I found that most of them are quite  similar. I made minor adjustments and this was the outcome!

 

 

 

If the Shoe Fits… Wear it! New Semester and…new challenges!

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Two weeks of a break and… Time to head back to the learning cave! Haha! I’d like to say that my break was fullnof adventures and fun that I had all metally planned out, however… It was honestly full of going to various appointments to try to help find out what’s going on with my body… From blood testing to see if there’s cancer or an autoimmune disease to mesage therapy and chiropractic appointments only to land (the day before classes start) with both hamstrings aching! Ughhh! All I did was walk up a short hill in front if my house to my front door! However, I’m choosing to praise God anyway! Even though every ammount of strength seems to have been zapped from me in this battle with my health… I just know that somehow, this temporary prison that I’ve been in with my health will eventually fade and I’ll be set free. In the mean time…. I choose to press on. Despite the pain, despite the challenges… GOD WILL MAKE A WAY!
On an up note… Despite the fact that I wanted to go to my hometown to see a show that I was offered tickets to and I ended up spending most of my break either running to appoinments, working, or in bed trying to heal… The Lord blessed me with opportunities to have a little fun 🙂 in the area! I got to spend a day with God mamma getting some things prepared to get a certain ministry started and eating lunch. Then, this passed Sunday eve, the Reverand Donnie Moore came and spoke at our church and brought Marcus Semien (from the Oakland A’s) and his wife to share his testimony! The night was full of frying pann rolling, baseball bat breaking, word of God teaching, testimony shareing fun! What an amazing time of refreshment before I head into classes! On top of it… I was given clear direction for the ministry that I want to partner with to get things started (no, it’s not Donnie Moore)… It’s an organization that I’ll give name to when things unfold a little more! In the mean time… I’ll just say… If the shoe fits… Wear it!

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So, here goes… I’m heading into the next semester… Uncertainties still lingering, pains in my body that have still not been healed… Opting out of any and all fitness classes in an attempt to regain my health (kenesiology major yeah…) and trusting that if God wants me to work out, He’ll provide the therapy to help me get back on course. Until then… It is what it is. Besides… My Body is His temple. For me to force myself to do something that could hurt it… That’s disrespectiful to the God who created me! Here’s to a new semester and… Here’s a recipe for almond butter overnight oats!

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Ingredients

-1 empty almond butter jar with scrappings left inside
-1/2 cup rolled oats
-1/2- 3/4 cup almond milk (or milk of your choosing)
-1 apple chopped
-1/2 of one frozen banana sliced into coins
-1 tbs honey (or sweetener of your choosing)

Directions

Place oats, milk, apple, and honey int the jar. Place jar in the fridge overnight and in the a.m…. Top with frozen banana coins and enjoy!

Ya’ll have a blessed week… Until my next post (whenever that might be) may God fill you with joy no matter what season you find yourself in!

R and R with cheese cake!

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Hello all… I hope your Christmas and New Years were brilliant! Mine were… well, a lesson in finding enjoyment regardless of what life brings! You see, winter break brought me to yet another season of having to mainly stay inside, at home (still not be to run outside or walk up and down too many hills and praying for provision for a car) and watch my nephew ( daycare owner was out of town and childcare coverage changed for my mom). So, outside of work, church and few outings with friends, I’very spent the majority of my break inside, trying to make the most of things.

As Christmas neared, we got a tree, my mom nd nephew decorated it (with a little help from me), then a day or two later, a family member was alerted about a pear tradition that involved child sacrifices being tied to the whole Christmas tree thing and…. that family member quickly took down the tree. Out of respect, I took down the little one in my room. I tried not to let myself dwell on our lack of tree but couldn’t help feeling disappointed. Meanwhile, I counted my blessings… the Lord provided ways for me to get some gifts for my mom, nephew and a few other people, and I got to spend a quiet day with my family.  The following day I was blessed with the opportunity to sing at a dear friend’s wedding and enjoy and amazing meal with them at the reception.

Days passed, I stayed home with little guy while mom went to work. I found ways to do some exercises and balance work to help relieve  stress from being indoors all day. I also found fun projects for me and little dude to do. This time has been very challenging for me, with battleing the urges to malnourished myself, I’ve fought through prayer and dedication to make proper changes… some days have been better than others, but hey… progress is progress. I’m now up 15 lbs from where I was and feeling much better energy wise!

As the New Year came and went, I begain to dread my time at home with little guy and actually looked forward to it. Getting to know him more, the hugs in the morning, bible devotionals, getting creative with his meals and actually making something he will eat and want more of (picky little eater ) brings joy to my heart.

Now, as the beginning  of  a  new   semester draws near… I’m battleing yet another injury. My hamstring tightened do to wearing old shoes at work and possibly some strength training I’d done, leaving me with a bit of an irritation, that along with financial struggles… praise God that’s  all I can say. I choose to continue to look at the following:

1.) God has the victory

2.) My nephew and I are now best buds

3.) Still making progress in proper nourishment

4.) Drawing closer to God (take THAT satan)

5.) Getting some real r&r before classes start

In closing, I just want to say that… life is what you make it. I can dwell on the fact that my running and fitness dreams have been repeatedly stomped on OR, I can say… “You know what…. life is a struggle at times… I’m going to embrace this season and make the most of it! I choose to focus on the many other blessings I have and praise God for keeping me alive and restoring my sanity!” Now for the recipe!

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Upside-down  Ellis Quark Cheesecake

Filling
-1 container vanilla bean elliquark

-1/2 tsp knoxgelatine

-2 packets #nowfoodsstevia

Crust
-1/4 cup pumpkin joe’s os or oat flour

-1 tsp traderjoes rice krispies

-1 1/2 tbs banana
Directions
Mix gelatine, stevia, and Elli quark together and leave it in the container. Place it in the freezer for about 15-25 min. Mash up the crispies and joes o’s in a bag using a rolling pin. Mash up the banana in a small cup with a fork. Add the cerial to the banana , mix thoroughly and place onto a flattened foil cupcake liner and flatten out until about 1/4 inch from the edge. Place in a toaster oven to toast until edges are golden. Set crust aside to cool. Once cooled, use a butter knife or spatula to remove. Place over top of Elli Quark container and…. DA da daaaaa!!! Upsidedown pumpkin crust cheesecake!

Finals and Life

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Finals… yes another semester has passed and so much has happened! The storm has raged off and on with my health,finances, and life in general…between seeing various practitioners to try to get my hip/ back issues resolved and random cold symptoms popping up consistently, mom’s car having some recent issues, my nephew bringing home colds from nursery and day care, my mom’s health causing worry, jumping from class to class, appointment to appointment, and a recent performance in the Hilltop Community Church Singing Christmas tree… man…. I’m surprised I can even think straight! I can honestly say that while I’ve learned to maintain peace (for the most part) amidst all the craziness and chaos, there HAVE been times when I’ve honestly just wanted to throw the towel in, times when I’ve asked God why in the world my life has had to be such a crazy struggle and why it is that so many times it seems like I’m so close to a breakthrough only to see it ripped from my hands leaving me weeping like a little girl who just had her favorite toy ripped from her hands never to be seen again. Then, I’m reminded… John 10:10 clearly states that satan came to steal, kill and destroy, but GOD gives life in abundance! Whatever satan has done, God will use to turn around for His glory (Romans 8:28), AND He will restore DOUBLE what was taken from me (Zechariah 9:12).  Waiting for my breakthrough hasn’t been easy, however… what keeps me pressing on is the little boy I get to watch grow on a daily basis! Ughhh! What a little fit throwing, letter learning, laughing, newly talking, adorable, heaven sent treasure of a boy! Makes every moment that I’ve had to endure the struggle worht it!

So, what do I do while I’m waiting for my breakthrough? Well, I’ve allowed God to work on me! You see… I used to complain about not having a car of my own. Now, I ask God to show me how to use the time I have while waiting for rides. I also have learned to be grateful for those who have sacrificed their time to help me get to and from school, work, appointments and the like. Also… with all the craziness going on, I began to bully myself with food. I neglected proper nutrition, and while on a house sit, my God Mother took me for a day at her gym where she kind of pushed me to get on the scale (something I’d avoided for a loooong time)… and… @ 85lbs, I’m surprised that I was even able to walk let alone, focus on my work! The moment I returned to my house sit, I got right to work on standing up to yet another person who has bullied me my whole life… the biggest bully of all… ME! Instead of a couple peaces of fruit and some yogurt for breakfast and stuffing myself with veggies and minimal amounts of protein, I began to include oats, other grains, healthy fats, chicken, fish, ect… to my diet. Amazing how quickly I felt the difference! I’m believing this is the beginning of great healthful changes! Also , I began to embrace what was before me… my family and school work! With philosophy as one of my classes, my eyes were opened to how amazing God truly is! I was given new perspective of how Jesus truly called us to live and connect with Him simply by taking a look at how other religions connect to their gods. Then I realized… those days that I spent, locked in the apartment, unable to leave due to injury… those days are days I spent in the word, and building my relationship with God. Had I/ ventured into this season without that… I would have been lead astray by the lures of those other religions and their gods… truly, it’s in the desert that we learn to trust Jesus. He pulls things out of us that no longer need to be, things that are separating us from His incredible love, He molds us, chases us, builds us into strong, magnificent creatures we never though we could be. It’s here that I’ve learned that in my weakness, HE is made strong! Every moment that I’m on campus, at church, or anywhere else for that matter is a moment in which God is showing His incredible power!  Finally, it’s in the waiting that our patience and faith is truly tested… will you believe that God will do what He said He will even when it appears like your whole world is falling apart? Really… the choice is yours! I leave you now with that thought and a recipe for low fat, sugar free french toast muffins!

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*Ingredients (muffins)*

~two pieces of Trader Joe’s Vegan sprouted grain bread

~2 egg whites

~1/4 cup almond milk

~1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract

~2 drops liquid stevia

*Ingredients (icing)*

~2/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (I use Trader Joe’s brand)

~1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla extract

~5 packets trader joe’s or now foods better steviastevia

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***Directions: Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick olive oil baking spray. Cut bread into little squares. Mix all batter ingredients together and evenly coat bread pieces. Place pieces into muffin trays until biscuits are formed. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 min or until baked through. Pull out of oven and allow to cool. Mix icing ingredients and top to your liking!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and keep hope alive!

 

 

 

 

Solid Foundation

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Matthew 7:24-27

New King James Version (NKJV)

Build on the Rock

24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

26 “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

Yesterday I jumped ahead and gave y’all some speed work both spiritually and physically. While confessions and proclamations over your life are wonderful ways to tap into the power of God and releasing your faith, allowing Him to create physical manifestation of His promises… however, without PROPER foundation in Him… those things are nothing. You can proclaim all you want and run around saying how much you really love the Lord and you can even go about doing various types of ministry, however… if your foundation/ relationship with God is weak… all those things will crumble to the ground. That being said… build your CORE! GET IN THE WORD! The sweet verses are wonderful to our eyes and ears, however, reading through the trials, the “begots,” the heartaches, the “boring parts,” is where a lot of the meat is… don’t miss out on a good thing! BE WELL ROUNDED!!!! Worship, pray (have REAL conversations with God), fellowship with other strong believers, AND (in the proper time) get out there and mentor other believers. Having a strong core in Christ is just like that house with a solid foundation… when the trials of life come at home, in ministry, ect… you’ll be strong and able to push through using the power of God. With a strong foundation/ CORE, the rest of your spiritual being will follow and overflow with strength into all areas of your life. Just like an athlete… You can put in the mileage, do the speed work, ect… however, your CORE is the most important part of your body… ALL MOVEMENT IN YOUR BODY STEMS FROM YOUR CORE!!! If you twitch, breath, raise your hand, ect… that movement involves using some area of your abdominal! In other words… if your core is weak, your athletic performance will be weak, leaving you prone to injury. How do you stay strong? By building it! That being said… here is a simple core workout for you to get started! DO KEEP IN MIND… WHILE I AM A CERTIFIED TRAINER, IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO THIS WORKOUT OR ANY OTHER ON THIS BLOG, YOU ARE DOING IT AT YOUR OWN RISK… TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF AND BE WILLING TO TAKE BABY STEPS! IT’S ABOUT QUALITY NOT QUANTITY!!!!

1.) Pelvic Tuck x10 (THIS IS THE BASE POSE FOR ALL AB WORK… PELVIS MUST BE TUCKED WHILE DOING EACH EXERCISE!!!)

2.) The Dead Bug x10

3.) Basic Crunch x10 (hold each crunch for 5-10 seconds)

4.) Bird Dogs x10 (great for the entire core, front and back, as well as hp strength and stabilization)

5.) Supine Bridge x10-15

Now, while feeding the kitties at the house I’m sitting for… some of the gentlemen on the property were king enough to allow me to invade their fringe… being that they are what I call “Wholefoodies”(they shop at one of my fav places!) I was oober happy! While doing a fridge invasion I came across some yellow onion, beets, and red and green cabbage! I also tried some of their Grey Poupon (which I’ve never had before)… and this led me to an idea! I took the veggies bad to the motor home I’ve been staying in and… created the following:

Dijon Roasted Veggies

~1/3 head of green cabbage (cut into thick squares)

~1/3 head red cabbage (cut into thick squares)

~1/2 yellow onion (sliced into thick rings)

~1/4 head cauliflower

~1 small crown of broccoli

~3tbs Dijon mustard (or spicy mustard)

~1tbs honey

~1tbs either water OR red wine vinegar

~1/4 cup raw walnuts (crumbled)

Directions

Now, I like to roast my veggies in a very non-conventional manner! Preheat oven to 450, and take all the veggies (minus the onion) and blanch them by placing them in boiling water for 2-4 min. I then take them and put them into a mixing bowl with the onions. Mix the water or vinegar with the mustard and honey. Then, mix into the veggies and add the walnuts! If you like a more salty flavor, you may add a dash of salt. Place mixture on a cookie sheet that has been spray of LIGHTLY coated w/ extra virgin olive oil, and place the sheet in the oven and allow to roast until cauliflower is a golden brown color. Take out of the oven, allow it to cool and enjoy! You can get creative by adding some dried fruit like cranberries or rains, or even dice up half an apple. For extra protein/ omega 3 add some more nuts OR flax seed (like Trader Joe’s Roasted flax seed)! This is a nice, mid day… “I fell like a healthy snack” way to get some serious vitamins and nutrients into you diet with some flavor and flair! Enjoy and God Bless!